Week of June 2, 2008

National

  • ANWR Report given to Congress

  • Clean Boating Bill Passes Committees

  • Celebrate Fishing/Boating Week at a National Wildlife Refuge

Regional

  • Weekly Great Lakes Water Level Update for May 30, 2008

Illinois
  • Special events planned for Illinois Free Fishing Days June 6-9

Indiana
  • Free Fishing Weekend June 7-8

  • Fishing-license sales benefit all lake users, not just anglers

  • DNR launches interactive fishing-site Web map

  • Big largemouth bass lurk at two lakes, thanks to regulation

Michigan
  • Michigan’s Free Fishing Weekend Slated for June 7-8

  • Fisheries Visitor Center Hosts Free Catch-And-Release Fishing Program

  • DNR Seeks Public Input on Revision of Michigan Threatened and Endangered Species List

  • DNR to convene multi-state meeting on lead fragments in venison - June 4

Minnesota
  • Take advantage of Take-a-Kid Fishing Weekend June 6-8

  • Eastern larch beetles killing Minnesota's tamarack trees

New York
  • Fishing Fun at DEC'S Family Fishing Clinic at Carpenter Brook Fish Hatchery June 7

Pennsylvania
  • Commission to evaluate walleye stockings in Susquehanna, Lehigh and Allegheny rivers

Wisconsin
  • Free Fishing Weekend June 7-8

 

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National

ANWR Oil Report given to Congress

Obama, Clinton voted to defeat the bill

Senate Minority Leader [Mitch] McConnell, [R-KY] and 28 other Republican senators introduced the Domestic Energy Production Act to allow oil production in only eight percent of the entire ANWR area. However, among those senators who voted to defeat this bill, which could have cut the now huge cost of gasoline,  were Democrat presidential candidates Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., and Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY.

 

McConnell, instead of releasing oil from reserves, is calling for the opening of the outer continental shelf as well as the 10-02 Area of ANWR in Alaska, both of which are known to hold vast amounts of oil and gas reserves that right now are locked up by Congressional bans on exploration and production.

 

The ANWR report said, "decreasing supply when demand is going through the roof, McConnell argues, is a sure way to

raise the price not lower it."  The report continued that

McConnell noted that had then-President Clinton not vetoed successful ANWR legislation in 1995 the U.S. would be getting more than a million barrels of oil a day from the 10-02 area alone.  Additionally, Oil from that location "is predicted to increase American production by over one million barrels per day which at $100-plus per barrel prices is a tremendous savings to our national debt and boost to our economy."

 

The report continued, "This will be compounded by the hundreds of thousands of jobs that will be created nationwide from production in the 10-02 and also the up to $280 billion in tax royalties the federal government would gain from production."

http://wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=65131

 

Artic National Wildlife Refuge: A Special Report

http://arcticcircle.uconn.edu/ANWR/


Clean Boating Bill Passes Committees

The U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on May 15 approved H.R. 5949, the Clean Boating Act of 2008, paving the way for its consideration by the full House of Representatives. H.R. 5949 is identical to S. 2766, legislation passed by the Senate Environment and Public Works

Committee on May 21. It would restore a regulation that excludes recreational boaters and anglers from federal and state permitting requirements designed for industrial facilities and oceangoing commercial ships. This exemption was overturned by a federal court in 2006.


Celebrate Fishing/Boating Week at a National Wildlife Refuge

Introduce your youngster to fishing, or come fish together as a family at a national wildlife refuge during National Fishing and Boating Week, June 1-8.  Most states waive fishing license requirements for one or two days during the week and America’s national wildlife refuges are great places to take advantage of this opportunity to get outdoors and connect with nature.

 

More than 270 national wildlife refuges and wetland management districts offer a variety of fishing opportunities throughout the country. For more info about fishing on national wildlife refuges:  www.fws.gov/refuges/FishingGuide/index.html

 

In addition, many national wildlife refuges around the country are holding special family fishing events during National Fishing and Boating Week.  The following is a partial listing of just a few of the scheduled events:

 

Georgia

Banks Lake National Wildlife Refuge, Lakeland, hosts its Youth Fishing Derby and CastingKids Competition Saturday, June 7 from 8 a.m.-1 p.m., for children 3-15. In addition to the CastingKids clinic and competition, youngsters can attend a knot tying demonstration; learn which knots are best for different test lines and how folks "grunt worms" for bait. Kids should bring a plain T-shirt, which will be decorated with free fish art, along with free fishing information and fun prizes.  Refreshments will be available. For more information, contact the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center at 912-496-7836 or go to www.fws.gov/okefenokee.

 

Indiana

“Take A Kid Fishing” at Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge in Seymour on June 7 from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. This event will feature special angling opportunities for youngsters in a pond normally closed to fishing.  It will include fishing, casting and fish art contests, door prizes, fishing lessons, craft activities, and lots of fun. Contact Muscatatuck@fws.gov,  or Donna Stanley at 812-522-4352.

 

Kansas

Quivira National Wildlife Refuge, Stafford, holds its Kids' Fishing Day June 7 for children ages 14 and younger. The day starts at 9 a.m. with clinics on such topics as identifying fish, understanding the contents of a tackle box, boating safety, and knot tying.  Fishing starts at approximately 10 a.m. Each child receives a certificate noting the size of their biggest fish caught. Lunch will be provided by the Friends of Quivira, and several door prizes will be announced. For more information, call 620-486-2393 or email quivira@fws.gov  or the Friends of Quivira at Friendsofquivira@hotmail.com .

 

Maine

Some years, there are more than 300 participants at Aroostook National Wildlife Refuge’s annual Children's Fishing Derby.  This year, the refuge in Limestone will be stocking the fishing pond with 300 brook trout in advance of the event on June 7.  Registration is from 8-9 a.m., when the fishing begins.  There will be prizes for all, as well as refreshments.  For more information, call 207-328-4634

 

Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge's 11th Annual Children's Fishing Derby will be held at Cobscook Bay State Park's Headquarters Pond in Baring, on June 14.  Children 16 and under will find the pond has been well-stocked. Hot dogs, chips and drinks will be provided as will prizes in various categories. Participants must accompanied by a parent and bring their own tackle and bait. The derby runs from 11 a.m.-1 p.m.  For more information, call 207-454-7161.

 

Maryland

The 6th Youth Fishing Derby will be held at Hog Range at Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, Cambridge, June 7 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Youth 15 years old and younger will compete for prizes in three age groups for the biggest fish, most fish and most unusual fish. Kids can bring their own bait, lures and fishing poles or use those provided by the refuge. All registered youngsters receive a free hot dog, chips, soda and bag filled with fun things donated by sponsors, who also provided door prizes.  Participants are invited to bring frogs for a frog jumping contest. Demonstrations and exhibits will abound.  For more information contact Maggie Briggs at maggie_briggs@fws.gov  or call 410-901-6124 or 410-228-2677.

 

Patuxent Research Refuge, Laurel, will hold their kids' fishing

day on June 14.  Fishing will be held from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. for youngsters 15 and under.  The largest fish are weighed and measured, but refuge staff and volunteers enjoy taking photos of the kids and their catch, regardless of the size of the fish.  Kids may fish in either Lake Reddington or Cash Lake, which has an accessible fishing pier as well as plenty of opportunities for shoreline fishing. For more information, visit www.fws.gov/northeast/patuxent/events.html  or call 301-497-5766.

 

Minnesota

Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge's Youth Fishing Day will be held on Saturday, May 31, from 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. The morning will be devoted to programs for some 200 kids from Minneapolis and St. Paul. After breakfast, the youngsters will learn about fishing, bait and the like. After a lunch of hot dogs or fried walleye, open fishing will begin. The young anglers will fish for 90 minutes.  Every member of the morning group will go home with a fishing rod, tackle, bait and pamphlets about fishing and the National Wildlife Refuge System. For information, call 952-854-5900.

 

New York

Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge, Basom, holds its 17th Annual Youth Fishing Derby Saturday, June 7.  The Derby is open to kids 17 and younger.  Onsite registration starts at 7:30 a.m. and fishing is from 8 a.m. until noon.  Free fishing related grab bags will be given to all registrants.  Call 585-948-5445 for more information or visit http://iroquoisnwr.fws.gov.

 

North Dakota

Children of all ages are invited to bring their parents and fish for fun at Lake Ilo National Wildlife Refuge, Dunn Center, on June 7 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.  A picnic lunch will be served, and door prizes will be given to all children.  Only a limited number of rods and reels will be available; participants can bring their own fishing equipment. For more information, call 701-548-8110 or visit www.fws.gov/lakeilo/.

 

Oklahoma

Salt Plains National Wildlife Refuge in Jet hosts its National Fishing and Boating Week celebration Saturday, June 7, starting at 8:30 a.m.  Kids 14 and younger can take part in the Annual Youth Fishing Derby at Bonham Pond.  Fishing starts at 8:30 a.m. for children 9 and younger and will end at 10 a.m. (Children six and under must be accompanied by an adult.) At 10:30 a.m., the 10- to 14-year age group will fish. Contact the refuge for more information: 580-626-4794 or visit www.fws.gov/saltplains/events.html.

 

Tennessee

Reelfoot National Wildlife Refuge, Union City, holds a fishing rodeo Saturday, June 7 from 8 am – noon at the refuge's maintenance ponds.  Kids 12 and younger fish free for prizes. Fishing will be allowed using live bait only. The youngsters will get free food, drinks and bait (while supplies last). Grand prizes will be given for the largest fish (length) for the following age categories: 6 and under, 7-9 years old, and 10-12 years old. Contact Information: 731-538-2481 or visit www.fws.gov/reelfoot/ .   

 

Texas

Trinity River National Wildlife Refuge will host the annual "Free Family Fishing Day" on June 7 from 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. at the Champion Lake Public Use Area.  It is the only day in the year when no license is required to fish or crab in Texas public waters.  Fishing poles and bait will be provided for those who need them.  Experienced fishermen will help children with baiting hooks.  All ages are invited.  Bring a lawn chair, as seating is limited. Champion Lake is located at the end of CR 417, two miles east of FM 1409 in southern Liberty County, approximately 10 miles south of Dayton. Call 936-336-9786 for more information.

 

Vermont

Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge, Swanton, sponsors a Fishing Derby for Kids Saturday, June 7, from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. The derby is open to children 15 years of age and under. Call 802-868-4781 for more information.

 

Fishing Guide and Searchable Web Site A click of the computer mouse enables anglers find the perfect fishing hole among the approximately 270 national wildlife refuges with fishing programs. The complete "Your Guide to Fishing on National Wildlife Refuges" is available online. Anglers can navigate the online guide in several ways, including by identifying one of the 10 most popular fish, searching a particular state, or even locating a refuge with a boat launch. Go to www.fws.gov/refuges/FishingGuide  for the online guide.


Regional

Weekly Great Lakes Water Level Update for May 30, 2008

Weather Conditions

Unseasonably cold temperatures were recorded in the Great Lakes basin this week.  Duluth, MN recorded 27 degrees on Tuesday morning, while Lansing, MI bottomed out at 32 degrees Wednesday morning.   Rainfall was generally light across the Great Lakes this week, as high pressure kept systems off to the south.  A potent storm system is poised to bring heavy rainfall to the region Thursday evening through Saturday.  Temperatures will climb into the 70s for the weekend.

Lake Level Conditions

Lake Superior is presently 13” higher than it was one year ago.  Lake Michigan-Huron is at the same level as it was at this time last year, while Lakes St. Clair, Erie and Ontario are 1, 1, and 8” higher, respectively, than last year's levels.  Lakes Superior and Michigan-Huron are predicted to rise 4 and 3”, respectively, over the next month, while Lakes St. Clair, Erie, and Ontario are projected to fall 1,2, and 3 inches, respectively.  Lake Superior is forecasted to stay above last year's water level through October.  Lake Michigan-Huron is at its level of a year ago and is expected to exceed it over the next few months. Lakes St. Clair and Erie will remain at around last year's levels, while Lake Ontario is predicted to remain higher than last year's level over the next several months. 

Current Outflows/Channel Conditions

Outflows from the St. Marys, St. Clair and Detroit Rivers are expected to be below average for May while outflows from the Niagara and St. Lawrence Rivers are forecasted to be above average.

Alerts

Users of the Great Lakes, connecting channels and St. Lawrence River should keep informed of current conditions before undertaking any activities that could be affected by changing water levels.  Mariners should utilize navigation charts and refer to current water level readings.

 

 

 

Superior

Mich-Huron

St. Clair

Erie

Ontario

Level for Aug 4

601.1

577.7

574.2

572.0

246.9

Datum, in ft

601.1

577.5

572.3

569.2

243.3

Diff in inches

 0

+2

+23

+33

+43

Diff last month

+4

 +3

+1

-2

-3

Diff from last yr

+13

0

+1

+1

+8


Illinois

Special events planned for Illinois Free Fishing Days June 6-9

Anyone can fish without a license during Free Fishing Days

SPRINGFIELD , IL – Youth groups, civic organizations, parks and recreation agencies, fishing clubs, and other organizations are promoting fishing as part of the 2008 observance Illinois Free Fishing Days, June 6-9. Free Fishing Days allows anyone to fish without the need for a fishing license, inland trout stamp or salmon stamp during the four-day event each June.

 

"Each year, Free Fishing Days is a chance for people in Illinois to give fishing a try,” said Illinois Department of Natural Resources Acting Director Sam Flood. “Kids and families love to fish, and Free Fishing Days is a great way for anyone

interested in fishing to wet a line and experience the fun of fishing.”

 

A number of organizations throughout the state plan special events during the annual Free Fishing Days weekend and at other times during the spring and summer. While anyone can fish without a license during the four days of Free Fishing Days, anglers fishing in fishing derbies, fishing tournaments, and other special events held prior to or after Free Fishing Days are required to have a fishing license, unless they are otherwise exempted.

 

For more info on Free Fishing Days events in Illinois: http://dnr.state.il.us/pubaffairs/2008/May/FreeFishingDays.html or contact the IDNR at 217/782-9990.


Indiana

Free Fishing Weekend June 7-8

Enjoy a free weekend of fishing this June 7-8. Hoosier adults do not need a license to fish Indiana's public waters during Free Fishing Weekend. Children under the age of 17 do not need a fishing license at any time.  To help kids and adults celebrate Free Fishing Weekend, recreation areas located across Indiana are planning fun fishing derbies, casting clinics, fish cleaning demonstrations and cooking classes.

 

Check out a new lake or river, or introduce friends and family to a favorite fishing spot. Call your favorite property for details. Some properties require registration.

 

Although no fishing license is needed to fish public waters on Free Fishing Weekend, all other fishing regulations are still in effect. Individuals who need reasonable modifications for effective participation in Free Fishing Weekend events at DNR properties should contact the property at least 72 hours before the event. Or, call DNR ADA Coordinator: 317-232-4145.

 

Properties hosting activities for Free Fishing Weekend

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

• Cagles Mill Lake (Lieber SRA), Cloverdale, 765-795-3552

• Cecil M. Harden Lake (Raccoon SRA), Rockville, 765-344-1412

• Eagle Creek Park, Indianapolis, 317-327-7110

• Hardy Lake, Scottsburg, 812-794-3800

• Hot Pond Park, Lebanon, 765-482-8860

• J. Edward Roush Lake, Huntington, 260-468-2127

• Mississinewa Lake, Peru, 260-468-2127

• Monroe Lake, Bloomington, 812-837-9546

• O'Bannon Woods State Park, Corydon, 812-738-8234

• Ouabache State Park, Bluffton, 260-824-0924

• Patoka Lake, Birdseye, 812-685-2447

• River Preserve County Park, Goshen, 574-535-6458

• Salamonie Lake, Andrews, 260-468-2127

• Saint Patrick County Park, South Bend, 574-277-4828

• Shakamak State Park, Jasonville, 812-665-2158

• Starve Hollow State Recreation Area, Vallonia, 812-358-3464

• Summit Lake State Park, New Castle, 765-766-5873

• Versailles State Park, Versailles, 812-689-6424

• Whitewater Memorial State Park, Liberty, 765-458-5565

• Williams Dam Public Fishing Area, Williams, 812-388-5562

• Willow Slough Fish and Wildlife Area, Morocco 219-285-2704

DNR property information: www.in.gov/dnr/12383.htm

Indiana fishing regulations: www.in.gov/dnr/fishwild/3704.htm


Fishing-license sales benefit all lake users, not just anglers

Indiana’s Free Fishing Weekend, June 7-8, gives Indiana residents the chance to fish for everyone's favorite price, but that's just the small picture.

 

The main theme is that the DNR Division of Fish and Wildlife (DFW), the weekend's sponsoring agency, hopes this on-the-house fun hooks  weekenders into buying an annual resident fishing license for $17, so they can fish again—and even if they don't have such plans.

 

That makes perfect sense, until that last part. After all, the DFW benefits from such sales. But so do all of the state's lake users, even if they never throw a line in the water.  “Free Fishing Weekend is a great idea, but we want folks to understand that the overall benefit and value of buying a fishing license goes beyond the weekend's fun,” said Bill James, chief fisheries biologist.

 

 Funds generated from fishing-licenses sales are used for conservation law enforcement, public boat ramps, fish stocking, research, aquatic  education, fish habitat projects, weed control, seawall construction, dredging projects and other activities that affect not only the overall health  of a lake, but also the property values of  the land surrounding it.

 

Fishing-license sales are based on the principle of “user-pay.” This means that those who buy a license benefit directly from the money generated. In addition to the direct income from license sales, the DFW receives federal "Sport Fish Restoration Funds," which are derived from a federal excise tax on certain sport-fishing equipment and motorboat fuel. The

amount of federal funds received by a state is based in part on the number of certified fishing-license buyers in that state.  "This funding mechanism has worked well for many decades and is the cornerstone of fish management in Indiana and across the nation," James said. 

 

Indiana, like many other states, has seen a decline in fishing-participation numbers—and therefore license sales—in recent years. This means fewer licenses sold, meaning less money for fisheries programs—and for many other lake-maintenance and enhancement activities. "That means that if you enjoy the state's lakes, you should consider buying a fishing license even if you never plan to fish because it is an economic investment in our lakes," James said.

 

"We encourage more people to go fishing,” James said. “That’s the purpose of the Free Fishing Weekend, but part of that is getting more people to actually buy a license, even people who may never go fishing.  “Enjoy Free Fishing Weekend, then go out and buy a fishing license to help us manage lakes. A license is an economic investment that benefits everyone.”

 

For more info on Free Fishing Weekend at DNR properties and Indiana fishing regs:  www.dnr.IN.gov/fishwild/3704.htm.  To buy a fishing license or find a local retailer who sells licenses, go to www.indianaoutdoor.IN.gov.   For more information call the DNR Customer Service Center, (317) 232-4200.

 

For license sales statistics, see http://wsfrprograms.fws.gov/ and click on Historical License Data.


DNR launches interactive fishing-site Web map

Bigger bass in Ball and Robinson lakes

The Indiana DNR has launched a new interactive Indiana map displaying more than 800 fishing access sites across Indiana. Anglers browsing  for a fishing spot or launching ramp can zoom in, zoom out, turn on aerial photos to learn the lay of the land, or click on icons to get more  information.

 

Access sites on the map are state properties, county parks,

city parks and municipalities. Information regarding fees may

be a daily-use fee, or a DNR Lake Permit. Boats on state park, reservoir or forestry properties need a DNR Lake Permit.

DNR's Where to Fish Finder: www.wildlife.IN.gov

 

Purchase a fishing license or find a license vendor: www.IndianaOutdoor.IN.gov

 


Big largemouth bass lurk at two lakes, thanks to regulation

Ball Lake in Steuben County and Robinson Lake in Whitley County offer anglers an increased shot at landing bigger largemouth bass, thanks to the results of a special regulation requiring the release of largemouth bass less than 18" long.  The regulation also restricts anglers to keeping only two largemouth bass that are more than 18" long.

 

According to the DNR, the number of 14" and larger largemouth bass increased at Ball Lake in Steuben County from an average of less than 1 per acre to over 3 per acre after the special regulation was imposed in 1996. The number of 18" and larger largemouth bass doubled from 1 per 10 acres to 1 per 5 acres.

 

At Robinson, numbers of 14" and-larger largemouth bass rose from 8 per acre to nearly 14 per acre, although the number of 18" and larger largemouth bass dropped slightly below 2 per acre.

 

Biologists have periodically monitored largemouth bass populations in both lakes to study the long-term impacts of the special regs. The most recent sampling took place over a three-week period in April and May. Using electro-fishing boats that temporarily stun fish, biologists captured 809 largemouth bass more than 8" long at Ball Lake and 848 such bass at Robinson Lake. Of these, 36 % were 14" and larger at Ball Lake. The figure at Robinson Lake was 33 %.

At Ball Lake, the number of 14" and-larger largemouth bass captured per hour of electro-fishing increased five-fold from an average of 11 before the limit to 51 after the limit. The catch rate at Robinson Lake increased from 26 per hour before to 67 after the limit. The catch rate of 18” and larger largemouth bass more than tripled at Ball Lake and increased 11 % at Robinson Lake.

 

Current bass fishing rules at most Indiana lakes allow anglers to keep up to five bass that are 14% and larger per day. "Questions we now need to answer are whether special regulations would benefit other lakes and whether fishermen would support them," said Jed Pearson, DFW biologist.  When the same regulation was imposed at three lakes on the Tri-County Fish and Wildlife Area near North Webster, the results were less dramatic even though anglers supported it.

 

The Tri-County lakes, however, had been under a 14-inch limit from 1973 until 1996, while Ball and Robinson had no size limit until 1990, and a 12” limit until 1996. Pearson said the reason is that bass grow faster in Ball and Robinson lakes.

 

Biologists say they need to better understand when and where special bass regulations can be used to determine which other lakes could benefit.  "We are not going to impose an 18" size limit everywhere, but there could be more lakes where we would like to try it," Pearson said.

 


Michigan

Michigan’s Free Fishing Weekend Slated for June 7-8

Michigan’s annual Summer Free Fishing Weekend has been scheduled for June 7-8, the DNR announced. For these two days only, residents and non-residents alike can fish without purchasing a fishing license, though all other regulations that govern fishing in Michigan still apply. 

 

Michigan has offered a Free Fishing Weekend since 1986 as a way to promote the state’s diverse natural resources.  With more than 3,000 miles of Great Lakes shoreline, 11,037 inland lakes and more than 36,000 miles of rivers and streams, Michigan’s freshwater angling opportunities are among the best in the nation.

 

“Fishing is a great way to connect with nature,” said DNR

Director Becky Humphries. “I encourage Michigan residents and visitors to get out and discover the many rewards associated with fishing.

 

“Free Fishing Weekend is an especially good time for experienced anglers to take a youngster or a friend out for that first fishing experience,” Humphries continued. “Mentoring others helps ensure Michigan’s conservation heritage will be passed along to future generations.”

 

Many state parks will hold special events in conjunction with Free Fishing Weekend.  For a list of events: www.michigan.gov/dnr and click on “Fishing”, then click on the link for “Free Fishing Weekend.”


Michigan Fisheries Visitor Center Hosts Free Catch-And-Release Fishing Program

The Michigan Fisheries Visitor Center at the Oden State Fish Hatchery is celebrating Michigan’s Free Fishing Weekend with a catch-and-release fishing program for children ages 5-16 on Saturday, June 7 from 8 AM - noon.

 

Fishing will take place at the center’s show pond, which is stocked with brown trout and rainbow trout, and all equipment will be provided.  There is no registration to fish, but all participants will share space and equipment.

 

“Our ultimate goal with our children’s fishing programs is recruitment and retention of our young anglers, through sharing our fishing knowledge and enthusiasm of the

resource,” said Maureen Jacobs, visitor center interpreter.

“Free Fishing Weekend is a great opportunity to introduce others to this enjoyable pastime.”

 

Free Fishing Weekend means Michigan residents and visitors are able to fish without purchasing a fishing license on both Saturday and Sunday, June 7-8. All other fishing regulations apply.

 

The Michigan Fisheries Visitor Center is located on US-31, five miles east of Petoskey. Summer hours are Monday through Saturday, 10-6 p.m., and Sundays, noon to 6 p.m. Tours of the Oden State Fish Hatchery are offered daily. For information about events and programs, contact the center at (231) 348-0998.


DNR Seeks Public Input on Revision of state Threatened and Endangered Species List

The Department of Natural Resources is requesting public input on proposed changes to the Michigan Threatened and Endangered Species List.  In June, four public hearings will be held across Michigan to discuss the proposed changes.  Individuals can also submit written comments via e-mail or U.S. mail.

 

Michigan Public Act 451 Part 365 requires periodic review of the state’s Threatened and Endangered Species List.  Similar to previous reviews, the DNR convened seven technical advisory committees to review the list and recommend changes.  The committees consisted of university researchers, Michigan Natural Features Inventory biologists, agency staff and other species experts. Each committee offered recommendations on a particular species group, such as mollusks, insects, fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals and plants. 

 

Of particular interest may be the proposed removal of the bald eagle and the gray wolf from the list.  Both species have exceeded population recovery goals and were removed from the federal list of threatened and endangered wildlife in 2007, but they are currently classified as threatened under Michigan regulations. 

 

Copies of the proposed changes to the list (SOAHR 2007-007 NR) may be accessed from the State Office of Administrative Hearings and Rules web site at http://www.michigan.gov/orr.

Printed copies may also be obtained by contacting:  Regulatory Affairs Officer, Office of Legal Services, Michigan DNR, PO Box 30028, Lansing, MI  48909, 517-241-2328, FAX: 517-373-8063, or klontl@michigan.gov.  

 

Public hearing locations and dates are as follows:

Tuesday, June 10: Grayling, Ramada Grayling Conference Center, 2650 I-75 Business Loop;

Wednesday, June 11: Lansing, Michigan Library and Historical Center; 702 W. Kalamazoo St.

Monday, June 16: Newberry, Comfort Inn, 13954 State Hwy M-28;

Tuesday, June 17: Houghton, Michigan Technological University, 1400 Townsend Dr.

 

At each location, an informational session will begin at 7 p.m. Eastern and the formal public hearing will begin at 7:30 p.m.  All interested persons are invited to attend and present their views. It is requested that all statements be submitted in writing for the hearing record. 

 

Written comments may be submitted to the DNR via email to endangeredspecieslist@michigan.gov or via hard copy to Endangered Species Coordinator, DNR Wildlife, P.O. Box 30444, Lansing, MI 48909-7944.  To be considered during the list-revision process, written comments or e-mails must be received by 5 p.m. on July 10, 2008.

 

 


DNR to convene multi-state meeting on lead fragments in venison June 4

Wildlife, public health and food safety experts from five states will meet in Minnesota next week for the purpose of helping regulators, hunters and processors better understand the implications of lead fragments in hunter-harvested deer.

 

The meeting, hosted by the Minnesota DNR, will be held Wednesday, June 4, in Bloomington.

 

"This  is  the beginning of  a regional effort to develop consistent programs and recommendations based on the best professional judgment of  public health, agricultural and natural resources officials and scientists," said Dennis Simon, DNR wildlife section chief. "Minnesota is taking a leadership role because we understand how important this topic is to so many different people."

 

Lead fragments found in venison donated by hunters last fall resulted in recalls of some of the meat from food shelves in Minnesota and North Dakota due to the unknown health risks associated with consumption of lead particles. No illnesses have been linked to consumption of fragments from lead ammunition but officials in both states opted to err on the side of caution.

Simon said invitations have been sent to wildlife, public health and agricultural agency representatives in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and Wisconsin. Representatives from the hunting industry and hunting organizations also have been invited.

 

Each state will review the status of its venison donation program, which typically allows hunters to donate deer to food shelves, and identify potential guidelines for management of venison donation programs this fall.

 

Participants also will discuss developing recommendations to guide hunters in the processing and consumption of their own venison as well as identify additional research and information about lead fragments that may be needed.

 

"Our expectation is that this is a working meeting that will produce a better understanding of current efforts concerning lead fragments in venison," Simon said. "We want to identify future needs, provide guidance to hunters and processors and develop a consensus on the core elements of a uniform communication effort that will enable our respective deer management and venison donation programs to remain viable."


Minnesota

Take advantage of Take-a-Kid Fishing Weekend June 6-8

Minnesotans who want to catch some quality family time are encouraged to take advantage of Take-A-Kid Fishing weekend, which is June 6-8.  Minnesota residents 18 and older can fish for free during these days when they accompany an angler younger than 16.

           

"Most kids would love to go fishing," said C.B. Bylander, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) outreach section chief. "By eliminating the need for a license on these three days, we're providing an opportunity for family and friends to try the recreational sport of fishing with a youth and encouraging people to get outdoors, have fun, and discover joys of fishing."

           

Finding a place to fish is easy. Visit www.mndnr.gov/takemefishing  on the DNR web site. Just click on the link to Lake Finder to catch all sorts of inside information. Or, visit exploreminnesota.com to find great places to stay, play and fish. Finally, visit the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation Web site at mn.takemefishing.org to hook great tips to make the trip a success.

 

The DNR's MinnAqua program, which teaches kids and adults

about lake and stream ecology through angling, is planning several events corresponding to Take-A-Kid Fishing Weekend. Events scheduled for Saturday, June 7, include:

 

- children's Fishing Clinic at Camden State Park near Lynd

- fishing History Fun at William O'Brien State Park near Marine-on-St. Croix

- fishing History Fun at Lake Bemidji near Bemidji

- fishing History Fun at Bear Head Lake near Ely

- “Take A Kid Trout Fishing” at Whitewater State Park near Altura

 

More information on these events is available online at www.mndnr.gov/takeakidfishing.  

 

"The idea is to give Minnesotans an opportunity to show kids just how much fun fishing can be," said Jenifer Matthees, DNR MinnAqua program coordinator. "The only way to do that is to get these excitable young anglers-to-be out to the lake."

           

June 1-8 also is National Fishing and Boating Week. Boating information, fishing tactics, tips on equipment and safety, advice and stories from pro anglers is available online at www.rbff.org.

 


Eastern larch beetles killing Minnesota's tamarack trees

Tamarack trees are reeling from Eastern larch beetle attacks, and the evidence is everywhere, says the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

 

Trees killed by the beetles (which overwinter under the bark) are then attacked by food-seeking woodpeckers. The woodpeckers strip bark from the stems and large branches of the trees and leaves piles of bark beneath the trees. 

 

The eastern larch beetle is a native bark beetle. The adults are just over 1/8 inch long and they create small, 1/16 inch holes in the bark as they enter and exit the tree. During the summer small holes, lots of dark brown boring dust and copious resin flow indicate attack. Adult beetles emerge from the trees in the spring, seek out and bore into suitable live trees or fresh tamarack wind throws or logging slash.

 

There they construct galleries and lay eggs. Larvae hatch from the eggs, feed in the inner bark and eventually pupate and change into new adults. Larvae feeding on the inner bark girdles and kills the trees.

 

The larch beetle is usually considered a secondary pest attacking stressed and recently cut trees. Flooding, drought, 

defoliation and old age have been associated with larch beetle attack. However, the larch beetle also appears to be able to develop widespread outbreaks and kill healthy trees. Native tamaracks and exotic larches are the only species of tree attacked by the larch beetle.

 

An outbreak of larch beetle has been occurring over the past seven years. Significant levels of mortality have occurred on over 65,000 acres of tamarack in Minnesota. No consistent stress factor contributing to the current mortality has been found, however the droughts in 2002-2003 and 2006-2007 have undoubtedly been involved. Damage levels vary from scattered individual trees, to 30 to 50 percent of trees in stands being killed. There are also a few instances where 75 to 80 percent of trees in stands have been killed.

           

Because Eastern larch beetles are currently so abundant and so widespread, attempts to control the beetle through management are unlikely to be successful. Salvage logging of stands with high mortality is recommended to use the wood.

 

Leaving 10 to 12 live Tamarack per acre as seed trees on harvest areas is still recommended, according to the DNR. These trees are likely to be quickly attacked by the beetle, but hopefully some will produce seeds before they are killed.


New York

Fishing Fun at DEC'S Family Fishing Clinic at Carpenter Brook Fish Hatchery June 7

On Saturday, June 7, the New York DEC), Onondaga County Parks, and Friends of Carpenter's Brook Fish Hatchery will conduct a free Family Fishing Clinic at Carpenters Brook Fish Hatchery located on Route 321 in Elbridge, Onondaga County. The clinic will consist of two separate instructional sessions presented by DEC staff and volunteers.

 

The first session will run from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and the second from 12:30 - 3:30 p.m. Each session will consist of five 15-minute breakout stations with instruction in: common fishing tackle and techniques, fish identification and biology, conservation and ethics, aquatic ecology, and fish preparation and cooking. During the second half of the session the group will divide their time between casting practice and fishing. Fishing rods, tackle, bait and educational materials will be provided.

 

Sign-up is by pre-registration only and is limited to 100 individuals per session (children under age 16 must be supervised). There is no cost for this program. For information or to pre-register contact the Carpenter's Brook Fish Hatchery at 315-689-9367, and remember to mention which session

you would like to attend. No fishing license is required during the event.

 

There are a number of other "Free Fishing Events" held throughout New York State. Free Fishing Events are DEC sponsored events (such as family fishing clinics) where participants can learn about fish identification, fishing equipment and techniques, fisheries management, angling ethics and aquatic ecology. Each of the DEC nine regions can sponsor up to four free fishing events per year. There are three other clinics planned in Region 7/Central New York this spring. They are being held in conjunction with various sporting organizations. The Iroquois Chapter of Trout Unlimited partnered with DEC at Mill Run Park in Manlius on Saturday, May 17, for a free fishing clinic.

 

 On June 8, the Falcon Sportsmen Kid's Fishing Derby will be held at the Falcon Sportsmen Club in Auburn. The Broome County Sportsman's Kid's Fishing Derby will be held on Saturday, Sept. 27 at Nathanial Cole Park in Harpusville. For more info and to view a listing of other events statewide: www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/27123.html  and be sure to check back periodically to see if additional events have been added.


Pennsylvania

Commission to evaluate walleye stockings in Susquehanna, Lehigh and Allegheny rivers

Harrisburg, PA - The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) has announced that it has stopped walleye fry stockings in the Susquehanna, Lehigh and Allegheny rivers on an experimental basis. Fry are young fish in their early stage of life, from one to three weeks old.

 

“We have been stocking walleye fry in portions of these rivers where spawning habitat was believed to be poor,” said Dave Miko, PFBC Chief - Division of Fisheries Management. “In some of these waters, dams restricted the ability of walleye to move freely throughout the river. However, the recent removal of dams or the improvement of fish passage over these dams has provided walleye with increased access to spawning areas.

 

“As a result, we think the current level of natural reproduction in these rivers may be capable of sustaining the walleye

population and providing the recreational opportunities that anglers have come to expect.”

 

PFBC biologists will determine if the stocked walleye have been making a significant contribution to the total population in the rivers by conducting fall electrofishing surveys. Biologists have been routinely counting yearling walleye during fall electrofishing surveys. They will continue to count yearling walleye at the same locations during the years when no walleye are stocked. This will provide a measure of stocking success.

 

Also, because not all sections of the rivers have been stocked with walleye, biologists will compare the number of walleye collected in stocked and non-stocked sections as an additional measurement. The PFBC expects that it will require at least three years of not stocking to determine if natural walleye reproduction in these rivers is adequate.


Wisconsin

Free Fishing Weekend June 7-8

MADISON – Anglers can grab their friends and family and head out June 7-8 to cast a line into any of Wisconsin’s 15,000 lakes and 42,000 miles of rivers and streams fish without a license during Free Fishing Weekend.

 

The first Saturday and Sunday each June, residents and non-residents of all ages can fish without a fishing license or trout or salmon stamps as the state celebrates Free Fishing Weekend. All the waters of the state are open, including state waters of the Great Lakes and rivers bordering Wisconsin. All other regulations such as length and bag limits do apply.

 

“Free Fishing Weekend is an invitation for all anglers, whether new or seasoned, to gather friends and family and go fishing,” says Theresa Stabo, Department of Natural Resources aquatic education specialist. “It’s a chance to take a day or two to re-experience how much fun it is to fish.”

 

A variety of events will be taking place at state parks and other locations throughout Wisconsin, with activities for all ages, including fishing, picnic lunches, demonstrations, games and many hands-on learning opportunities for adults and children.

A list of activities including fishing clinics is available on the Free Fishing Weekend page of the DNR Web site.

 

While rods and reels are usually provided at many of these fishing events, people can also borrow fishing equipment from one of DNR’s nearly 50 tackle loaner locations.

 

Recently, Wisconsin teamed up with the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF) and 29 other states in a national campaign called “Take Me Fishing,” designed to get more people out onto the water and fishing.  “Take me fishing” complements Free Fishing Weekend, along with other angler education programs, fishing clinics, outdoor expos and other efforts the states and fishing clubs have long made to introduce new people to the sport.

 

“Free fishing weekend is an ideal to time to take someone fishing,” says Stabo. “It’s the perfect atmosphere to renew the fishing passion in an angler who hasn’t been out in awhile, or hook someone new onto a pastime that creates lifelong memories.”  For more info on Wisconsin Free Fishing events: http://dnr.wi.gov/news/DNRNews_Lookup.asp?id=118#art1


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